Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cooking! Make your own Peppermint Bark

I love Peppermint Bark. Love it. LOVE it. (Do you get how much I love Peppermint Bark?) Anyway. I really like it a lot. However I don't like paying $26.50 to Williams-Sonoma for a 1-lb tin of it.


Two years ago I searched the interwebs for a recipe to make it in my very own kitchen, and I found a great one on epicurious from Bon Appetit. It's easy. EASY. (And it makes a great gift!)

You'll have a harder time not eating it when it's finished than you will making. And the kids will love helping you crush the candy canes :) Ready to get started? I'll give you the recipe first, and then you can ooh and aah over my spectacular photographs detailing the process (ha!) Here we go:

Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark
Bon Appetit/December 1998

Ingredients:
17 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Ghirardelli), finely chopped
1 6-oz box of candy canes, coarsely crushed (Peppermint, obv.)
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. * I use 8 drops or so of peppermint oil in place of the extract.

Preparation:

Turn large baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil. Mark 12x9-inch rectangle on foil. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is melted and smooth and candy thermometer registers 110 degrees F. (chocolate will feel warm to touch). Remove from over water. Pour 2/3 cup melted white chocolate onto rectangle on foil. Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. pour bittersweet chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate rectangle. Using icing spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate in even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Rewarm remaining white chocolate in bowl set over barely simmering water to 110 degrees F. Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer; spread to cover. Immediately sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

* The directions go on to tell you to trim the edges, slice into strips, yadda yadda. Just try to cut it up as best you can with a large knife. This is probably the most difficult part, and it's only because the chocolate is hard. Just do the best you can, and eat all the yummy crumbles :)

It can be made 2 weeks ahead of time and should be stored in the refrigerator. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

And now my pictures!

I use the bittersweet, not semi sweet chocolate (and make sure you use good quality chocolate!)

William asked me for days when we were going to make the candy cane cookies :)
and even Jason was able to help!


Try not to get a big lump like I did up there :)
1/4 cup of crushed candy cane gets sprinkled here

William adding the whipping cream

Melting the chocolate with the whipping cream and peppermint oil

Layer two is finished & ready to chill

Matt came home in time to photograph layer #3 :)


Sprinkle the top layer with the remaining candy canes. Note: I never use them all, just sprinkle until it looks right to you; and they were also probably crushed a little finer than necessary, William got a bit carried away :)

When it's all said and done, it should look something like this!

You should end up with around 1.5 lbs of candy for under $15. Not exactly 'cheap', but you will control the ingredients (no preservatives!) and it'll be home-made. And delicious. And pretty in a glass jar with a red ribbon, if you choose to give it away. This year I'm keeping all of mine for our family :) Hopefully it won't all go straight to my seat. Hopefully.

10 comments:

  1. You have a different recipe than I do...and it looks DELISH!!! I think the main difference is the three layers and the whipping cream. I'm going to have to try it. I haven't made my peppermint bark yet, it's on my list for this weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I LOVE love LOVE peppermint bark too!!!

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  2. Looks fantastic! And, oh look, I just sent you my mailing address...how convenient. :)

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  3. I want to make this!!! I have always wanted to try it, but never have! It looks DELISH!

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  4. That looks yummy. My my Dad makes different types of bark as of the last few years. He also did while I was growing up. I love it :) Great pics btw!!!!!!

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  5. That looks SO good. We used to have it at work at Christmas but now that I stay home I haven't had it in like 6 years or something. I think I need to get some. : )

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  6. Yummy Jen! I really need to make some of that. My son and his friends made some cookies tonight. I still haven't made any. Maybe tomorrow I can get to the cookies and try that bark. Is sounds delicious!

    I hope your kids are feeling better!

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  7. I might have to try that! Looks great!

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  8. I made some but it's nothing compared to yours. I went the lazy route of just white chocolate and the smashed peppermint....thats it, just mix. I've never heard of adding regular chocolate to it.

    your's looks just like the expensive kind!!

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  9. Yummy! Haven't really heard of "bark" before. It must have been so nice to finally eat your creation after all the layering and chilling. Looks great! (bet it tastes even better)

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  10. Ok hello, how do you stay so thin??!!

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